An EDA Rhinos player. (Photo/Hsieh Ming-tso)
Well-known Dominican-American baseball player Manny Ramirez has agreed, verbally, to play for the EDA Rhinos of Taiwan's Chinese Professional League if he is not going to strike another deal with a US Major League team by March 7, media reports said.
Ramirez said that the EDA Rhinos of the China Professional Baseball League set March 7 as the deadline for a final decision, according to ESPN. EDA Rhinos, formerly known as the Sinon Bulls, will play their first regular-season game on March 17.
"I will play in Taiwan if I cannot get work in the US by that deadline," Ramirez said, when interviewed by ESPN. "It will be a new experience, to experience another culture while I keep doing what I love and what I have done in all my life, playing baseball."
A spokesman for the Rhinos said he did not know about the March 7 deadline, but negotiations about Ramirez's contract, including a potential monthly salary of US$25,000 and accommodation, are reaching the final stage. The baseball team is currently waiting for the results of Ramirez's medical checks before finalizing the procedures.
Weeks ago, Ramirez told ESPNDeportes that he would prefer to wait for an opportunity to play for a MLB team before looking for a job in another country.
Ramirez's agents called almost every team, but nobody was interested, Ramirez reportedly said.
Ramirez said he has no control over the current situation while he thought that showing in the field what he can still do will facilitate his comeback in the MLB, but that has not happened.
"But I'll settle for playing in Taiwan or elsewhere in the summer and winter ball in my country," he said.
Ramirez, 40, batted .312 with 555 homers and 1.831 RBIs in 19 MLB seasons before retiring from baseball in April 2011 after committing a second violation of MLB's drug policy.